|Sgt Donald Malpas|
(Click over to enlarge)
Royal Air Force,
Killed in Action,
25th July 1918,
Buried Dadizeele New British Cemetery.
SERGEANT MALPAS MISSING - "A TRUE CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN AND A GALLANT SOLDIER"
Sergeant D. Malpas, R.A.F., son of Mr. F.W. Malpas, headmaster of Helmshore Council School, has been officially reported missing since the 25th ult.
His Officer Commanding writes: - "No further tidings of your son have been received so far but we expect to have news of him and his pilot very shortly. On the day that Sergeant Malpas and his pilot were missing, the patrol had a general fight well over the other side, and everyone was too buisly engaged to notice exactly what happened; but the machine was last observed rather low down, diving on several of the enemy machines."
His Chaplain writes: "For a few months I have had the great pleasure of knowing your dear son. During this time I have learnt to look upon him as a real friend."
The present superintendent of the Y.M.C.A., said his predecessors, both speak highly of your son's excellent qualities, and it must be a great joy to you to know that he won the respect and esteem of all those with whom he came in contact - a true Christian gentleman and a gallant soldier - and to know him was to love him. On the day he went to do his glorious share in this great struggle he was coming to take tea with myself. We had looked forward so much to his coming, and great was the .... when we heard he had not returned.
We earnestly pray that he may only be a prisoner and not a casualty, May God grant him strength to hear this great trial."
HELMSHORE AIRMAN FALLS FIGHTING - SERGT. DONALD MALPAS
Sergt. Donald Malpas, R.A.F., younger son of Mr. F.W. Malpas, headmaster of Helmshore Council School, who had been officially reported as missing from July 25th, is now officially reported to have been killed in action on that date, and Lieut, F.J. Shearer, who was pilot of the machine in which Sgt. Malpas was at the time, is also shown to have been killed.
On the date named the patrol had a general fight well over the other side. When last observed the machine was fairly low down, diving on several enemy machines. Sgt. Malpas was a bright and clever young man, and exceedingly popular. He was serving his articles with a Manchester firm of accountants when he was approaching the age of 18. He was determined to enter the Army voluntarily, and enlisted on his eighteenth birthday in August of last year. This involved his surrendering his opportunity for sitting for his intermediate examination in the following month. His employers had offered to appeal for him in order that he might sit, but he declined to consent to their appealing saying he would not carry an exemption certificate in his pocket. He had been in France since Whitsuntide, this year.
He was on the Musbury Church roll of honour. The news that he was killed in action was conveyed by the following letter: - "Dear Mr. Malpas, - I regret having to tell you that news has reached us through the French Mission in Switzerland that your son, Donald Malpas, was killed on the 25th July last. It must be some consolation to you to know that he died fighting. Lieut. F. J. Shearer, his pilot, was also killed. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy. - Yours sincerely, E.W. Johnson, Major." In a previously received letter the chaplain wrote of Sergt Malpas as "A true Christian gentleman and a gallant soldier."
SERGT. D. MALPAS'S LAST FLIGHT - EIGHT MILES OVER THE GERMAN LINES.
Mr and Mrs. F.W. Malpass, Fern Bank, Helmshore, the parents of Sergt. Donald Malpas, R.F.A., who in September of last year was announced to be missing, and in all probability killed whilst engaged in flying over the German lines, have received a letter from mrs. Shearer, of 109 Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh, mother of Lieut. Shearer, the pilot with whom Sergt. Malpas had commenced to fly only a few days before both were lost.
Mrs. Shearer lost her husband fourteen years ago and Lieut Shearer was her eldest son. In the course of her letter she says, "We surely cannot be strangers when our two darling boys went their last journey together. I hope the end came swiftly, and I think it must have done, and I am sure they met it steadfastly. In a meeting I was at the other evening someone said of the boys who have been killed in this war that they "sanctified their souls by the sacrifice, and I was rather struck by the phrase.
I wonder if you heard from the Major that there was an air fight over the enemy lines (some seven or eight miles over) on the 25th July. Nine of ten of our aeroplanes against twenty to thirty German planes. The plane in which our two boys were was last seen diving down on one of the enemy planes; but, alas, two Hun scout machines followed our one. I have never had much hope after I heard that they were three to one. And the long silence is enough.
"Of course, the War Office, until they get the names in black and white from the Germans, still say they do not know officially; but they must have some news, as I have got all my son's kit sent on to me. In his kit was his pilot's note book, and from it I saw that Sergt. D. Malpass had made several journeys with him, so they were not strangers.
"Together they had bombed Mervelle and Menion, and once they pursued a Hun, but he was too low down and he got away. They were travelling at great heights - 14000 and 15,000ft up....
In loving memory of Sergeant D. Malpas (Donald), Observer, 20th Squadron R.A.F., killed in aerial combat in France, 25th July 1918; youngest son of F.W. and E. Malpas, Fern Bank, Helmshore.